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How to build a direct booking site that converts

Direct bookings are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the overall landscape and 77% of property managers and operators view increasing direct bookings as their number one priority for 2024.

Why are direct booking sites so important?

Simply put direct booking sites help drive more revenue and collect more data - two things that have the ability to transform any short term rental busienss.

They are crucial for short-term rental operators because they allow owners to bypass third-party platforms, reducing or eliminating commission fees, and increasing profitability. These sites also foster direct communication with guests, enhancing customer service and building brand loyalty. When guests book on an OTA they don't interact with your brand. When they book directly with you, their memory and knowlege of your brand and you as an operator  increases exponentially.

You also gain an ability to collect data that you otherwise wouldn't have if building your revenue model exclusively though OTA's. The fact of the matter is that OTA's and third party booking engies just don't give yout he data to understand how your product is performing and what in your listings and offering is actually driving the sale. They also make it impossible to track potential guests across multiple visits, meaning you can't retarget or build functioanltiy that customzies the site and guest experience based on whether they've stayed with you before, whether they visited your site, etc.


How do we build a site that converts?


Build User Friendly Designs

Having a site that is easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing is a huge reason why people book. As with any product, the quality of the presentation directly impacts how much it'll sell and what its conversion rate is going to be.

Ensure that navigation is straightforward, that information is easily accessible, and that actions are intuitive. Visitors should be able to find room and rental options quickly, understand what amenities are available, and get to booking details with just a few clicks.

An example of an excellent direct booking site is the one for PremiereInn.

Their layouts are easy to understand and navigate, and their copy and content is engaging, emotional, and interesting.

A challenge that many property managers face is that they are using direct booking site templates provided by their Property Management System. Many times, these templates end up looking very generic, don't perform well on most screen sizes (especially mobile), and don't allow for enough customization to really make the site pop.

Consider using your PMS's direct booking API's alongside a more design-first website builder like Webflow or Squarespace or Wix to build a website that may be a little more aesthetically pleasing.

Drive TRUST through your direct booking site

Roughly 80% of site visitors aregoing to bounce, and they're going to bounce to the place you least want them to. 80% of people who book through an OTA like or Tripadvisor will check out your property on your direct booking website, but then complete the reservation itself through one of these OTA's. This means you're loosing 10%+ of your potential revenue because your look-to-book rate isn't high enough.

The reason this happens most of the time is because visitors trust the billing and reservation process more through and OTA. They trust it more because property managers often neglect to build out the content on their direct booking site that would get people to stay.

Make sure your content and copy is engaging. Blog posts, well written listing descriptions, and engaging landing pages with clear CTA's (Call To Action) go a long way in building this trust.

The sites we've included below are examples of amazing content and design.

All these sites share one thing in common - they have a lot of really good content. Video backgrounds, blog posts, professional photos, and trust drivers all over the place.


Connect with your guests on the web

Live chat and personalized, targeted popups and CTA's can be a powerful tool for direct booking sites to convert more visitors into paying guests. By offering real-time assistance, live chat allows potential guests to get immediate answers to their questions, removing any confusion that might cause them to abandon their booking. It also builds trust because it enables the same type of direct messaging that many guests engage in when booking through an OTA like AirBnB or

This can be anything from clarifying room rates and amenities to highlighting special offers or addressing concerns about the location. Many guests also appreciate the ability to message you during their checkin and arrival process to get assistance where needed, schedule airline transfers, and make changes to their reservation if needed.

An excellent example of well-executed live chat can be found with the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana. As a location that welcomes visitors from many destinations and as a location that is 10 miles away from the airport with many buildings entrance points, having that ability to chat before making a reservation, schedule shuttle pickup, and understand where to check in can increase booking rates by as much as 10% and half the number of phone or in-person support conversations.



On of our most populare products is our chat widget, which property managers are embedding in their direct booking sites to drive more conversations and conversions. Thousands of additional bookings a day are driven by the 27,000+ conversations which are occuring on the platform.

There's a way to make these sites shine

Every short term rental host and property manager faces challenges in scaling their direct booking strategy. Yes, guests may still book on OTA's or with other travel agencies, but you don't need to write off a growing direct booking channel as an impossibility. Inspire yourself with the examples we've provided above and implement the tools necessary to make your direct booking sites as successful as possible.